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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Alcaraz

Ann Caroline Putnam from Blossom Vale Senior Living

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

Ann Putnam - Ann’s Family

Interviewer: Tell me about the history of your family. Where did your mother and father come from? What did they do?

Ann: My mother and father were from Wabash, Indiana. My mother was a housewife and my father worked for the utility company. We later moved to North Manchester, Indiana where I was born in 1932 on June 13th. I have one sister, Sharon Marie Arner. She was born two years before me and when I was in the year before the 6th grade, World War II happened. And I had two uncles in the war, both in the Navy, one was killed in action and my other uncle William Lee, my mother’s brother, had a serious brain problem. And the Navy brought him to Alameda, California for surgery.

Ann Putnam - Ann’s Family Makes A Big Move

“Well, we liked California. My mother had a brother living in Fairfax which is in Marin County. Well we loved it there, my folks decided to stay and so did my grandmother. We all bought homes in Marin County, in the town of San Rafael. I lived there until I was married. I grew up there, I went to school there, I worked there. We loved it there. I had a paper route when I was uh, in the 6th grade. I then went to work for the local newspaper and I worked there all through high school and after high school.”

Ann Putnam - Ann Goes on a Blind Date

“I did have other, other boyfriends. And I was engaged and uh, he went off to college in Berkeley and I stayed in Marin County. And the relationship just didn’t work out too well because of the distance. And uh he was so busy and I was in San Rafael. So we did break our engagement and in the meantime, I had uh, one of my girlfriends was commuting to work in San Francisco with a daughter of a general that was stationed at the Hamilton Air-force Base, which was in Marin County and of course as a local girl, I never went out with any of the fellas from the base. However, one Saturday I was working and this friend of my friend called, she said “I know some nice second lieutenants and I would like to know if you would go on a blind date with one.” And I said, well sure why not?”

Ann Putnam - Ann Gets Married

“Well, that was in March. We got engaged in, over Memorial Day and we were married in September 11th 1955. I was married for 63 years and it was a wonderful marriage. He was in the Air-force, a pilot, from Portland, Oregon which was fairly reasonably close to his folks. I got to meet them and uh we stayed in Marin County, he was stationed at Hamilton Field. And we both worked. And uh he was going to get out of the Air-force when his time was up and he was accepted at San Jose State. He was going to go to college and become a teacher and after he thought about it and was mentored on the idea of retiring, you know getting out of the service, he was convinced that he should stay in. That the future would be a permanent future for us. So he decided to stay in the Air-force.”

Ann Putnam - Ann and Her Husband Start Traveling

Ann: “Then we started traveling.”

Interviewer: Traveling! You guys go a lot of places?

Ann: “We’ve been a lot of places. And I have to admit that a little girl from North Manchester, Indiana has been around the world and I never thought in a million years that I would have the life that I have had. I have been in many countries, every state of the union. We were only stationed overseas one time uh and that was in to the Philippine Islands. Well, I was pregnant, Dick had to leave so I stayed in Marin County. My mother came to stay with me and I had the baby on October 11th, 1958. Within eight weeks, nursing my baby, I had to go to San Francisco. I had to get our passports, we had to get all our shots and flew to the Philippines on a non jet Navy plane. I did have a sponsor. I was nursing the baby, she was six weeks old. Forty hours! They did stop in Hawaii and Guam so that we could get off the plane and rest a while. Needless to say, when I got to the Philippines I was very tired and excited at the same time.”

Ann Putnam - Ann’s Time in the Philippines

“While we were stationed there, I had to come back to Marin County because my father passed away. So myself and my one year old made the trip again. The last trip when we came home, my husband, we were all together. Julie my baby was two. So that was my overseas for me. We did everything we could to take advantage where we were. I got to ride the rapids of one of the famous rapids there in the Philippines. I got to go to Manila several times. I got to go up in the mountains where there was a military rest area. I got to go see where MacArthur was stationed where he was, made the famous uh statement that I will be back.”

Transcription and Audio Edit by Ileana Chavez.

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